TheWIFTS Foundation Diversity Award: To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey The life and career of Nancy Kwan , the first Asian woman to become
a major Hollywood star, becoming Asia’s first lady of cinema.
Brian Jamieson Director
Joann Jamieson Associate Producer
Joann Jamieson - Associate Producer
Joann was first attracted to the arts in the form of dance & expression when she was attending High School in Iligan City in the Philippines. When she went to college, Joann joined the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG), now a leading Philippine dance and theatre company whose world-acclaimed productions integrate the dance, music, and arts traditions of the Southern Philippines where it is based.
She came to the United States in 2000 where she met and married Brian Jamieson, the producer / director of TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: KA SHEN’S JOURNEY Since that time her interest in movies and the creative process grew deeper as Brian shared his passion for Cinema with her. Joann immersed herself into this new found passion and travelled through Europe in support of various Film Festival activities with the critically acclaimed feature documentary feature CHARLIE: The Life & Art of Charles Chaplin, which was directed by Richard Schickel.
With the formation of her husband’s production entity in early 2006, Joann played a key role in the logistical planning and research for the new production company’s signature project TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: KA SHEN’S JOURNEY, a feature project 4 years in the making. As the project progressed and with the various locations involved, Joann took on an Associate Producer role to assist in facilitating the production from inception through completion.
In addition to working closely with her husband on the development of future projects, Joann also started pursuing her other great interest in life. She has always felt compassionate towards other people and had long nurtured a desire to work in the field of Nursing. In June of 2009 Joann completed the required Nursing Program, and received her License from the State of California.
Brian Jamieson - Director - Producer
Brian Jamieson was a Marketing and Distribution Executive for Warner Bros Theatrical and Home Entertainment divisions for 33 years. He served with the Company in New Zealand and the UK, heading up Theatrical Advertising & Publicity in those markets before being transferred to the United States in early 1984.
In 1977 he was named International Publicist of the year by Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros, for the successful execution of several campaigns, including The Deep, Spiderman and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
During the mid to late 80’s Jamieson supervised all the Studio’s theatrical marketing efforts in Latin America, Japan / Far East, Australia / New Zealand, South Africa and Europe. During this time he worked closely with Stanley Kubrick on the successful launch of Full Metal Jacket. Jamieson’s close collaboration with Stanley Kubrick would continue through to the acclaimed Director’s untimely passing in March 1999.
At the outset of the 90’s Jamieson was appointed head of International Marketing & Publicity, being responsible for the Studios entire output of pictures through the Home Entertainment medium, in International. By the mid-90’s Jamieson’s portfolio included Worldwide Special Projects, resulting in inter-action with all Studio departments.
Jamieson was one of the first to include short and feature length documentaries to accompany classic studio movies on Home Entertainment releases as highly effective marketing tools in promoting Cinema literacy.
Among his many contributions to Warner Bros Home Entertainment library are: Hell Hath no Fury: The Making of the Outlaw Josey Wales (Producer), A Turning Of the Earth: John Wayne, John Ford & The Searchers (Producer), Bruce Lee: In His Own Words, Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey, and most recently James Dean: Forever Young (Executive in Charge of Production).
In 2002, spearheading the Studio’s worldwide release strategy for Charlie Chaplin’s principal features and shorts, Jamieson tapped renowned film historian / filmmaker, Richard Schickel to write and direct Charlie: The Life & Art of Charles Chaplin (Executive in Charge of Production). Its debut and World Premiere at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, was met with critical praise and was pivotal in stimulating a major resurgence and worldwide rediscovery of Chaplin’s masterpieces. Together, Jamieson and Schickel continued their creative collaboration with the extraordinary reconstruction of Sam Fuller’s signature masterpiece, The Big Red One. The duo painstakingly restored over 47 minutes of lost footage to reconstruct Fuller’s
Original cut of the film, before Lorimar Pictures released the shortened version in 1980. Incredibly, the 25 year old film was named in 12 different Top Ten Best Films Lists in 2004. It went on to win 5 major awards: The National Board of Review; The National Film, Critics Association, The Seattle Film Critics, The Los Angeles Film Critics and the prestigious Anthology Film Archives’ Film Preservation Award of the Year.
In March 2006, Jamieson launched his own independent production company, Redwind Productions Inc. Within the first year, Jamieson in collaboration with Richard Schickel produced and released Cannes All Access, a feature length documentary on the cultural impact of the Cannes Film Festival. The film garnered excellent reviews in Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, Chicago Tribune and others. It debuted on Turner Classic Movies on May 16, 2007.
Jamieson’s ongoing slate of pictures includes his directorial debut with TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Ka Shen’s Journey, a documentary feature film due for worldwide release in 2010.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: KA SHEN’S JOURNEY is the definitive and true life story of NANCY KWAN who as a young Eurasian girl from Hong Kong captured the hearts and minds of cinemagoers around the world in her stunning motion picture debut role in THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG (1960). And, in the unforgettable follow up role as “Linda Lo” in the all Asian, Rodgers & Hammerstein
Hollywood hit musical. FLOWER DRUM SONG (1961), her career would reach previously unattainable heights.
With just two pictures in two years, the Eurasian girl from Hong Kong would become one of the most sought after young stars in Hollywood. But, the motion pictures that would follow would never again mirror, that initial success!
This feature documentary “real life drama” explores “what happened” to such a promising career as it takes its audience on a personal journey, a woman’s journey, which is as equally compelling, as it is inspiring.
Nancy Kwan’s story is both fairytale and poignant.
It is a story of “Art imitating life and “Life imitating art” as the character she so aptly portrayed in THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG, loses her only child in the story of the film. Sadly, in real life this same tragedy would occur, and her life would be forever changed by this circumstance!
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: KA SHEN’S JOURNEY also addresses the stereotypical struggle of Asian actors with Hollywood, and fully explores the highs and lows of a chosen career, but the heart and soul of KA SHEN’S JOURNEY is the telling of Nancy Kwan’s personal and spiritual journey as she endures the worst tragedy of all – the loss of an only child under the most tragic circumstances imaginable!
The film features JOAN CHEN, FRANCE NUYEN, VIVIAN WU and SANDRA ALLEN together with a host of family and friends of Nancy Kwan. It was extensively shot on various locations including Hong Kong, Cambodia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Kansas City. Beautiful original watercolor artwork was created for the film by renowned Chinese American Artist Jin G. Kam. The poignant and original music score was composed by Chris Babida, the composer of the stunning Hong Kong Ballet score – Suzie Wong.
Written, produced and directed by Brian Jamieson for Redwind Productions Inc.